Sydney to Lord Howe Island, Ball’s Pyramid, Elizabeth Reef, Middleton Reef & Norfolk Island / 1,050 Nm / 14 Days / CAT 0 Expedition
The Category 0 ocean passage from Sydney, New South Wales, Australia to Balls Pyramid, Lord Howe Island, Elizabeth Reef, Middleton Reef and finally Norfolk Island is a true explorers expedition. We depart Sydney and head 420nm ENE to Balls Pyramid, stretching almost 500m out of the ocean, before altering course for the 13nm leg to Lord Howe Island, where we will tie up on a mooring in the lagoon for 2 nights on the western side and take the opportunity to swim, cycle, hike, relax and enjoy everything this stunning island has to offer.
When we depart Lord Howe Island, we’ll sail 100nm north to Elizabeth Reef. This 6nm long reef rises up from the 3,000 metres deep Tasman Seafloor and is visible at low tide. We will time our anchorage inside the platform reef for low tide so we can go ashore and explore the reef before it’s covered again at high tide. Imagine standing on a reef that’s 300nm off the East Coast of Australia with nothing but the Tasman Sea in every direction! When we depart Elizabeth Reef we’ll head 30nm north for a circumnavigation of the notorious Middleton Reef, one of two the southernmost platform reefs in the world. It’s claimed more than 70 vessels in the past 100 years with some wrecks still visible.
The final leg is to the stunning South Pacific jewel: Norfolk Island where we will anchor and go ashore, clear Australian Customs and take a tour of the island and take in the rich history dating back to the early convict inhabitants. This expedition will have some unique sights including seeing shipwrecks visible on top of the Middleton Reef, turquoise blue lagoons, amazing sea life and the steep Jurassic like cliff faces of Lord Howe Island.
With nothing but an open ocean from the bottom of Australia/New Zealand to Antarctica; 1,000nm to the south, the ocean swell can build in height with no land to stop it for more than 2,500nm until it hits the shores of the Pacific Islands. There are many reasons why more people have climbed Mount Everest than have sailed across the Tasman Sea and the rapidly changing nature of the Tasman Sea’s weather system is one of them.
Our skippers have sailed across the Tasman Sea twelve times (two solo), the keys to success include waiting for the weather window, downloading live weather en-route and sailing a vessel that’s easy to mode for all wind and swell conditions. Despite its reputation for extreme conditions, the Tasman Sea is easy to cross safely if you stay clear of the winter storm season (late May to early August) and wait for a safe weather window. It’s an absolute bucket-list voyage and a hugely satisfying personal achievement.
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